Posted October 27, 2023
By Matt Insley
American Tall Tales
“I was an American expat living in Europe for six years (1999-2005),” says Kyle T.
“On the French ban on pro-Palestine protests and women wearing the abaya in French schools, these are excellent ideas.
“Hate is not protected free speech. There are exceptions to what you can say.
“And Western civilization has gone through the painful process of suffrage, and the traditional habits of women in Muslim societies just don’t fit here.
“Put the garb away,” he says, “or just don't go to state-subsidized schools!”
“There's no room for racism here, but especially not in U.S. Congress.
“It's racist to come out in support of Palestinian terrorists just because they look like you, share your religion and your pops told you to hate Jews.
“Our representatives, including radicals, should represent all Americans and uphold all American laws. There should be no carve-out for hate as long as it's directed at Israel.
“Permanently blacklist nutbags who support terrorism. Harvard, Yale, Cornell, whatever. Banned with prejudice. No jobs for you, and lucky to be a busker!”
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Your Rundown for Friday, October 27, 2023...
“Spending Out of an Empty Pocket”
The mainstream media was high-fiving yesterday over a supposedly stellar economic indicator — namely, a gross domestic product (GDP) reading of 4.9%, soundly beating the 4.2% economists were expecting.
According to Dave Gonigam, managing editor at Paradigm Pressroom’s 5 Bullets, GDP is little more than a fairy tale.
“GDP is a meaningless statistical abstraction,” Dave says. “It has no bearing on your life or your standard of living.
“The formula for calculating GDP puts way too much emphasis on consumer spending and far less emphasis on savings — even though savings are the seed corn for future prosperity.
“Is it a case that growing numbers of consumers are spending out of an empty pocket? And how long can that last?”
Absolutely. Wednesday’s Rundown, if you remember, highlighted historically high rates of delinquent car payments among subprime borrowers.
Now, that’s a real-world indicator.
So Dave got me thinking about savings, and what I found is lackluster…
Citing the most recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the seasonally adjusted personal savings rate in August (revised on Sept. 29, 2023) was 3.9%.
“Personal saving is equal to personal income less personal outlays and personal taxes; it may generally be viewed as the portion of personal income that is used either to provide funds to capital markets or to invest in real assets such as residences,” BEA says (Emphasis ours).
In other words, Americans are saving less than 4% of their personal incomes.
And that rate has been steadily declining…
This as wages (theoretically) grew by 5.3% in August.
Since it’s a Friday, we’ll leave you with this meme Paradigm editor Sean Ring shared on our editorial Slack channel, addressing yet another economic abstraction…
Painfully funny, right?
Whatever yarns economists and politicians spin for us Americans… they’re all just tall tales.
Market Rundown for Friday, Oct. 27, 2023
The S&P 500 is up 0.15% to 4,140.
Oil’s up almost 1% to $84 for a barrel of WTI.
Gold is nominally in the red at $1,982.90 per ounce.
And Bitcoin is up 0.50% to $34,150.
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